Tag Archives: BAM for Books Artists Make

About The Shrewd Idiot

About The Shrewd Idiot?

Can a Idiot ever be Shrewd? I believe he can. Of course I’m biased as I was that Idiot if ever there was one.

One publisher’s (Oliver Caldecott) Reader, who read an early chapter of the book in the late 70’s, said that, “Kennedy could not have written this if he had not [become wiser with age]”, or words to that effect. He also likened it to the effect Catcher In The Rye had on the 50’s University generation but as I was the Idiot I was always late and it took until 2017 before a young student woman in Amsterdam likened the book to Salinger. Well, at last. Someone else, back in 1975, a PhD student called Alun Butler whose study was on Rilke, the year I self-published (warran Idjet] Apul-One, the prequel (or follow up as the text postdates that of A1) to The Shrewd Idiot (Apul-Two), likened it to Robert Walser. In some respects these folk were seeing the Shrewd side of the Idiet. In fact his alter ego Apulhed is Shrewd, he’s the Wise One.

apulhed + SI ad
The Shrewd One helping the Idiot publicise his gig

 

The idiotic side of the Shrewd Idiot used to (and still do sometimes) spell wrongly (aka Altered Spelling) or delibritli uses wrong sentince struckture and all sorts of other means of putting the reader off.

Back to my original question, ‘Can a Idiot ever be Shrewd?’ Caldecott’s Reader hit the nail on the head because the idyet left his job knowing it was the right thing to do, to write the book. It only took 40 years to get it out but out it is now! And it never was meant to be such a feature of my bookart & Performance Art and blArts (I call my blog my blArt cos it’s me ‘blatherin on’ like a BlaggArt…ist , that’s it- I’m not a Drag Artist I am a Blag Artis Bloke!

So, looking at Dave K’s blog about the line-up for Substance book event in Portsmouth on March 18 2018 https://artistsbooksportsmouth.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/substance-portsmouths-artists-book.html You’ll find 4 images of recent sightings of The Shrewd Idiot from his Performance Art gigs. Below is a short intro explaining each image and how they fit into his stuff:

Each part of the The Shrewd Idiot Performance Art gig relates a section from the book of the same name.

a red dress pk71 mask + blak rose sm

Image 1. Shows the idiot aged about 20 dancing & reminiscing his old love, Rose of Exeter who is one of what have become known as the Idiot’s ‘3 Graces’, three women he knew and lost in the book. He is holding a red dress with which he dances. That is not only a going back in time thing it’s also a reference to Trajal Harrell’s dancing which the old Idiot saw last year performing his Hoochie Coochie set at the Barbican in London. In the first song the old Idiot dances to Mick Jagger makes veiled reference to Hoochie Coochie dancing when he mentions “…your mama was a tent show queen…” in Brown Sugar.

am not dressed like a king sm
You can see the Idjet in his new shades at SUBSTANCE

Image 2. Aged about 67 the old Idiot dances like a king for Camellia to Iggy Pop’s song ‘Shades’.

ahed entrance + staff worked on sm
Apulhed makes a rare incredible appearance

Image 3. Apulhed, the idiot’s alter ego appears for real and does his cosmic dance once he overcomes his fear of the humans in the audience.

a pk69 prancer slight doctord sm
The Idiet travels back to 1969 and imagines himself young again dancing with Bluebell.

Image 4. Shows the Idiot at about 18 years old dancing for Bluebell, the first Grace (aka Gertrude) from his late teenage times. If you get to Substance you’ll have the opportunity to see all these parts of the Idiot’s persona in a 20 minute piece.

a smsi cova words
Altho this is not the final Shrewd Idiot cover it nearly made it, just like the book’s hero!

AND you’ll have the chance to view the A4 & A3 Shrewd Idiot Books at Pete’s table alongside his other books.

apul001
Pete’s first artisbuk from 1975

IF you go to the Society of Bookbinder’s book event in London on the 17th March you may get a chance to see the Idiot strutting his stuff with Iggy, warming up for Substance.

See ja thur!

 

 

 

 

 

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Artist’s Book marmalises its maker!

 

I almost stoved my head in with my Artist’s Book, The Shrewd Idiot!

You are going to have to suspend disbelief in my idiocy when I divulge this tale of woe, you won’t belive me but believe me it is true. And I cannot for the life in me understand why I got myself into the situation where I (only) damaged my nose.

Let me explain:

You know I am like a dog with a bone when it comes to achieving the impossible, I don’t give up, as witnessed by the final completion of my tome The Shrewd Idiot. It’s arrival came after a journey of 40 odd years. During that time the (proposed) ‘book’ took on several different forms; the original ‘journals’ written by hand (often drunk) in exercise books and scraps of paper, the longhand 400 page 1st draft, the typescript, the physically cut & paste edited typescript, before the selected 200 pages being scanned then re-edited and layed out in the past 2 years. That Quark version was then transferred to pdfs and printed at my printers.

Several of the forms were recently housed in a pink box (pink was cheaper) with the intention of being archived and left for the foreseeable future now the book was finalised. The box + contents weighs 10 kilos (1 ½ stone!).

1 pink box + measures sm

You may ask what’s so dangerous about a box which weighs 10 kilos? Nothing. That is unless it’s in the charge of an Idiot. All my life I kept folk guessing which aspect of my character was the dominant type, the shrewd, or the idiot (idjet from now on, I like the sound better). Even I was never sure cos when I did something special which obviously proved the shrewd was apt I’d step in some animal dropping or a pigeon would crap on my anorak. BUT NOW IT’S OFFICIAL! The Idjet rules. How do I know?

Well afore I tells yeez I wantu show yers some of the stuff in the box, just to prove am a real writer bloke, as well as a artisbloke which you alredi knows abArt. So here’s the box open with the stuff showing, manuscrips of different varieties.

1SI stuff pink box sm

And below is some of the handwrit script. I know it reads like a load of old cobblers but that bit’s out of context…he says.

1 a s i hanritt p palimpsest sm

And here’s a sample of the cut & pasted version

1 si c&p in pink box sm

And here’s one image and a letter which got into the final book:

1 sibike mein pink box sm

With all that stuff it’s no wonder it took me 40 odd years to get it ready for print!

But none of this is ought to do with how I nearly stoved ma heed in.

That came about because, as you know, I am a bit stubborn.

tap bristan

To cut a longer story shorter I was trying to put a new washer into a bathroom tap because that tap were dripping. Simple job (in the old days), just get a new washer, and fit it. Done. Not nowadays. I went to a plumber’s merchant to get a washer and the guy said, ‘Here Pete have two new taps and just fit em both and job done.’ So I began to take the tap off BUT, the damned nut was (still is) grafted tight and secured onto the tap AND WON’T BUDGE. I bought an ‘adjustable basin back nut wrench for taps’ for about 25£. Easy peasy, but no, not Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Damned ting wouldn’y budge. So I bought a ‘Monument basin wrench’ and Easy peasy, but no not Easy peasy lemon squeezy, still dint work.

2 renches

I got my mate Dave to hold the tap and we exerted superhuman force, still dint work. So I got WD40 sprayed it and left it and got my son what’s as big as a big thing in and together, nothing, no Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Damned ting still wouldn’y budge. So we decide to call a plumber BUT unbeknowns to ma son and her indoors I was not going to be beaten because I had a ruse. All it needed were a little more WD40 and a special technique I’d been told works every time. So, when everyone was out (that’s important) I started looking for a real heavy thing (I know, a pink metal box full of book stuff what weighs 10 kg will do because it’s so big & bulky it couldn’t possibly slip thru the gap and hit me on the bonce) which would be wedged on the top of the sink and would stop the darned tap turning on itself, in fact would lock it and then I’d be under the sink (?) with me trusty basin wrench and Bob’s yer uncle man!

a sink stp

I don’t quite understand why I needed to be under the sink, maybe it were becos a friend had loaned me a torch so I could look up and see the nut as I wrenched it and of course the pink metal box would be too big & bulky to slip thru the gap.

a sink stp fr below

So there I were under the sink trying to turn the wench and taking the precaution to look up to ensure the pink box hadn’t slipped and tried to squeeze thru the impossible gap and then I thought I need to get a metal bar to get more torque on the wrench wench and I were about to git up an gerrit and almighty crash and pink box full of Shrewd Idiot stuff came crashing onto ma heed. Luckily, cos I done karate and have a strong nose like my dad I fended it off with me arm and let ma nose take most of the blow. Then I waited, to see if I was still alive, yes, good for that first test, are you unconscious? No I think am conscious because I can see the blood. The blood which is bursting out of my nose and running onto the mat at the base of the sink and the pink box is still on me head, bloody hell that’s heavy, why didn’t I find summat lighter like a few bricks?

ma dosey nose

Now am in trouble, her indoors is sure to notice ma dose is bigger and has a big old scar on it and can I get the blodd off of the carpet and look there’s some on me pink box, has it damaged ma manuscrips? which I don’t really need, so why don’t yu throw em away ya tart! Well am keeping them in case I need em int’ future like.

So I can see the headlines now, “Artist’s Book kills Author Artisbloke” and ‘PK once known as The Shrewd Idiot has been confirmed as just, The Idjet after being knocked into Kingdom Come by the book he had gently nurtured for over forty years. He tweeted from Kingdom Come, ‘If that’s the way the tome repays all my care and intention then I won’t ever spend forty years on a book again, never never no not ever’.

Watch out for me on the BBC Breakfast show on BBC TV! Well everyone who brings out a book, a cd, a tour etc gets allowed on it don’t they, and on the One Show, so expec to see me there too. One week it’s that lad what dives from the high boards (Tom Daily) doing a cookery book then it’s  that bloke wit the big old beard (Raggy Boney Men) what’s only Human and today it were Gary Brooker frum Procul Harem on Steve Wright in th’aftermoon! and now it’s my turn. I’m nearly human Afterall…or is that Afterthought?

 

BAM Books Artists Make

In my previous blArt I piped on about B..B..BAM – Beautiful Books By Artist Makers.

a beau bks bam sm

go to https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/b-bam-b-bam/ if you wanna see the last blArt?

I realise that is a bit of a mouthful so let’s refine it.

I have played with the term AB (Artists Books). But BAM seems to ring a bell with me most- Books Artists Make- BAM.

bam clean sm

Then there was BA (BookArt) which also allows in all those beautiful commercial books like they do on the ground floor at Whitechapel’s Books Market. The art of designing the book is a great skill that artists like Eric Gill and David Jury espoused, along with William Morris, Kurt Schwitters, Guillaume Apollinaire, Jan Tschichold http://www.designishistory.com/1920/jan-tschichold/  to name but a few. Thames and Hudson (Hiroshege’s A Shoal of Fishes), Taschen (Hiroshege’s One Hundred Famous Views of Edo) and many more have produced commercial quantity books with beautiful feel and design. There are beautiful small press and individual publishers who create editions of gorgeous books. And of course artist/writers who create one-off-unique items which can be seen in exhibitions world-wide. I recently posted a blog about artists books, the gap between their beauty and the public’s not ‘getting’ or not understanding what they are. Even the definition & outcome of the artist’s play or experiment with the form and ingredients of what a book can be are unpredictable!

book art smBa Ba Black Cat have you any…book?

VIP please note – I don’t expect or anticipate the ‘B..B..BAM’ . BAM . BA logo ideas should overtake the term ‘artists book’, it’s the concept that I’d like to promote. The idea is meant to attract people not familiar with artists books and book art into the exhibition, show, fairs and markets in which the wares are being displayed.  I believe there is a need for a good rallying call, like an invigorating ‘quality’ hallmark or symbol to use on publicity material. The ‘pop-art’ similarity is about that stimulating bounce that comes with the onomatopoeia. My logos go back beyond pop art to the world of comic with Herriman, D D Watkins, Bestall and all. My designs are merely suggestions. I wouldn’t wish for them to be adopted but they flag up possibilities. I think the use of BAM or BA would be good on publicity but designed how local people or each book fair/event wants them to be from ‘normal’ typo to Rick Griffin illegible logo. For those of you unfamiliar with Griffin’s work take a look at this http://www.myraltis.co.uk/rickgriffin/galleries_sleeves.htm

Some of the interesting aspects of ‘bookness’:

Artists book’ is a good term (AB)Book Arts’ may be better (BA)

But

Neither spells out

Nor indicates

Nor defines

Nor limits

The variety

The differences

The various

The qualities

In the making of ‘book

With all the differing components

That comprise

That conspire

Together

To make books!

Babylon used clay tablets

Egypt used papyrus

Tibet used daphne

Magna Carta used vellum

Moses used stone

Kerouac used scroll in On The Road

Medieval monks used parchment

Gandharvans used birch bark

Nowadays we use plastic and vinyl too

The list goes on BAM BAM

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_scrolls it’s good.

©Pete Kennedy July 2015